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A Practical Comparison of Mastodon and Micro.blog

Many of us are looking at Twitter alternatives and there are two services that stand out: Micro.blog and Mastodon.

These services take different approaches, so choosing one is challenging. This page highlights some of the differences and is meant for non-nerds who don't want to get bogged down by implementation details. Every attempt has been made to be accurate, but some technical details are deliberately glossed over.

For more about similar services, see the Comparison of microblogging services on Wikipedia

Mastodon Micro.blog
Web site https://joinmastodon.org/ https://micro.blog/
Sales pitch "Social networking, back in your hands. Follow friends and discover new ones. Publish anything you want: links, pictures, text, video. All on a platform that is community-owned and ad-free." "A network of independent microblogs. Short posts like tweets but on your own web site that you control. Micro.blog is a safe community for microblogs. A timeline to follow friends and discover new posts. Blog hosting built on open standards."
Best price Free Free, but requires a separate blog for posting
Actual price Free $5 per month, no blog needed
Harassment and abuse https://blog.joinmastodon.org/2018/07/cage-the-mastodon/ https://help.micro.blog/2018/twitter-differences/
Code of conduct Depends on the server (Example) https://help.micro.blog/2017/community-guidelines/
Privacy policy Depends on the server https://help.micro.blog/2018/privacy-policy/
Hashtags in posts Yes No
Replies handled differently No Yes
Able to export content Yes Yes
Cross-posting to Twitter No Yes, with a $2/month or $5/month subscription
Import Twitter friends Yes No
Official iOS or Android app No iOS only
Official Mac or Windows app No Mac only
Third-party clients Yes Yes
Security User name + password (2FA is optional) Email address only

Deliberately omitted from above: User counts, open source status, federation details

I'm not part of either project, so there may be mistakes in the table above. That's why this is on GitHub - please open an issue or send a pull request to correct any problems you find. If you are adding content, please do so for both platforms and link to your sources.

For other questions or to start a discussion, contact me on: